Governments Don’t Give Rights

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It is important to remember when discussing the Constitution and legal rights that there is a huge difference between natural rights and legal rights.

We are all born with the natural right to speak. That right can only be violated by force – whether physical or emotional coercion. Laws are created not to tell you what natural rights you have, but what powers or limits the government legally has to suppress them. When the Bill of Rights was enacted, it came with this preamble:

“THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.”

The Constitution is a document to guide governance of a people in order to ensure the outcomes stated in the Constitution itself:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

So, everything within the governing rules of the Constitution, its amendments and all of our laws is supposed to aimed at establishing justice, insuring domestic tranquility, promoting general welfare, etc. And the Bill of Rights was added to prevent abuse of government’s powers and to to strengthen public confidence that it will best ensure beneficent ends.

All of these things, they saw as part of a true democracy. It’s not just about getting to vote. Voting was simply the best way they saw for establishing who the people were choosing to represent them to achieve these things. But voting means nothing if some people have more influence over our representatives than others. Undue influence corrupts the sense that justice is served or that general welfare is being tended to. It reduces confidence that government is ensuring beneficent ends for all of us. Once 5 people on a Supreme Court decided that money equals speech they didn’t defend to the right of speech for individual people, they gave the right to speech to individual dollar bills. That is a corruption of justice. And it certainly is not going to lead to domestic tranquility.

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